Africa and the G8: A business perspective on progress one year later

Tuesday, August 1, 2006

Excerpt: Governments and development agencies are starting to take the private sector seriously as a vehicle for development, argues Graham Mackay, chief executive of SABMiller.

A year on from the Gleneagles Summit – and governments, NGOs, multilateral organisations, civil society and the private sector are taking stock of what has been achieved in the past year.

As an African-originated multinational business committed to helping achieve the millennium development goals we believe two relatively unheralded, but nonetheless significant, achievements have evolved from ?the Year of Africa?.

Firstly the private sector?s role in poverty alleviation is increasingly being analysed by policy makers with the same degree of rigour as aid and debt relief. This is a much needed development.

Secondly, there is a growing trend towards more effective collective action from the international business community, in partnership with the public sector, to address poverty.

The fact that business has been brought more closely into the consultation and policy development process is both welcome and significant.

There is no doubt that, in the past, aid and debt relief have dominated policy discussions ? sometimes at the expense of robust and intellectual debate around the central role that investment and job creation play in improving the lives of the 315 million people living on less than a dollar a day in Africa.

There is now a greater appreciation among all parties that what is good for business is good for development.

Source: Ethical Corporation (link opens in a new window)